Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Virginia Pictures

Gran Gran and Lexi

Nicholas and Lexi

Gran Gran and Papa


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home

We arrived home last night. For the first time in 6 nights Lexi slept well. We think she missed her bed and her routine. The trip we so looked forward to was hard on her. As I type this, I mean no hidden messages or ill-meanings on anyone but I feel I must share how things really are and can be with an adopted child especially one from an orphanage. We've had Lexi for 9 months now and really thought the timing was right to travel far away from home and let her meet more family. We looked forward to sharing her sweet self and beauty with everyone but it was not that easy. By the end of the week we were all ready to come home and now we have some readjusting to do. I know that not everyone who reads our blog understands. There are so many people who believe that love is the answer but those of us who have "been there and done that" realize how fragile International Adoption can be.

Today was our first entire day home. It was hard to say the least. My dear hubby let me sleep in and got up with Lexi as usual. I got up and had some hot coffee and held my appetite for left-over Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I have to say my Mom surprised us all with a pretty much "repeat" of Thanksgiving today complete with freshly cooked homemade mac'&cheese and lima beans for Geoff. She made sure there was plenty of left over homemade stuffing and gravy for me along with my favorite rutabagas (I know not really a Thanksgiving staple for all but is with our family). Lunch with Lexi was hard. She gobbled up cranberry sauce and wanted to be done. Then she sought out all the attention she could gather from everyone. We recognize this as controlling behavior and is hard to deal with. Mom was really great with her and got her to eat and then take a nap. I only wish I had such great instincts with her. I won't sell myself short by saying I have none but my Mom has so much experience with traumatized children that she just instinctively knows what to do.

I have to say without a doubt I've never felt so missed and so loved as I have this Thanksgiving. It was our idea to go to VA and felt it was a good time for Lexi. It's always a little hard to know exactly what to do. Our trip wasn't exactly what we had planned. Not that we had a plan other than visiting the zoo and spending time with family. In the end, the weather didn't cooperate and the zoo was out. Wanda wanted to get some pictures of LJ in the leaves, but the constant rain didn't allow for that to happen either. LJ's cousin was sick the first few days of the visit as well so we weren't able to spend much time out at mom and dad's as well. Just seemed that our plans weren't meant to be. But those things happen sometimes. It was nice to finally get Lexi to meet her great grand parents. That is something we have wanted to do for sometime. I think she has finally just met about everyone. It was nice to spend some time with Uncle Mike and Aunt Kelley. I don't always stay in touch as I should, but it was nice to see them and they were very good hosts. I hope we did not interrupt their routine very much.

I know I have my insecurities and I am sure that Wanda does as well. We love her very much and know that she loves us. Seeing her growing before us is amazing and a blessing. But it is a little disheartening to be in the same room with her and feel like she is not at least acknowledging your presence is not fun. It does happen from time to time, and they are getting fewer and farther between. I think we are like LJ in that we have our routines and don't always like them being upset.

Tonight she was easily agitated and cried over everything. I had to put her to bed with her boots on as she would not allow us to take them off. We've already had to repeat rocking her to sleep. I feel as if the last week has been harder than any other week since we got home.

So for now we have some readjusting to do. For now, we will just work in as much routine as possible and reinforce who is in control. Control is such an issue with International adoptive children but is such an important message that they learn to give up control and trust their parents. We want our daughter to grow up well adjusted and successful daughter. We only wish her the best in life we can ever offer and will leave the rest up to the good Lord above.



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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for . . .



our little Turkey!

P.S. More Thanksgiving details to come. We're just too tired to blog tonight.



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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting to know more family!

I did not get a chance to post last night even though I tried. We took Lexi to Aunt Neaners and Uncle Charlie's house for dinner. We had a really nice time. Geoff's parents showed up for a little while and Lexi was in adult heaven with 6 adults at her beck and call. It was fun to watch but we paid for it later on. Once we got her home, she was asleep in the car. I managed to get her to bed still asleep and then about 20 minutes later she awoke.... and I ran upstairs to her. About 2 1/2 hours later we finally had her down for the night. It never ceases to amaze me how easily we can upset her routine. I can't bare to let her cry it out in a strange place so we patiently just rocked and rocked! (Thank YOU Nanny for letting us borrow a rocking chair!!)

At Neaner's and Charlie's it was fun to watch Lexi. They really had no toys but it didn't matter. They had a box of restaurant coasters that Lexi loved playing with. Lexi reminded me of how she is with my mom with Grandpa Jake. If GP Jake will eat it so can she. And then with Uncle Charlie she reminded me of Lexi with my Dad. She cleaned out his pockets and had the best time! I really wish we could see Neaners and Charlie more often. Lexi took to them like crazy cakes. It's just ashame that it takes so little to upset her routine.


Lexi eating Grandpa Jake's Pizza!


Lexi charming Uncle Charlie!


AND Aunt Neaners!

Today we didn't do much either. We awoke with LJ and had breakfast. We found a place in Manassas called "House of Bounce". They had an open session from 10:30 until 12:00. We decided to take Lj since the only other thing planned for today was supper with Nanny and Maggie. I'll post pictures later b/c I have yet to download them. As soon as we got there a man walked over to us and told us she was too young for it. Well, he didn't know our Lexi. She loved it! She bounced and bounced with the oldest of them. She wore her mommy and daddy out! But she had a GREAT time! Once we returned home and ate lunch Lexi and I took a nap.

Then we went to Nanny and Maggies. Lexi loves them both very much and did a good job eating. Dinner was delicious and we enjoyed our visit. I'm so happy Lexi is getting to spend some time with her Great-Grandma Nanny and our dear Maggie.

We have one more night before going home. We are looking forward to getting Lexi back to her normal schedule even though we have so much enjoyed sharing our precious daughter with others.

Yesterday was Aunt Kelley's birthday. I wish I had taken a picture of them but we were all busy. We'll be sure to get one before we leave. Lexi has taken quite nicely to Uncle Mike and Aunt Kelley and they have been wonderful hosts making us feel totally at home.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are not sure how the day will go. Geoff's nephew that is living with his parents along with Geoff's mom, dad and Sis in law and new baby have been busy with Nicholas who has had a stomach bug. If it has not passed I guess we will keep Lj away as they have done all week. He has no fever or other symptoms but the dr. says it is viral and will have to run its course. I have no idea if it is contagious or not. So we shall see what Thanksgiving holds. We have looked forward to having Thanksgiving with Lexi for the last three years. It will be disappointing if we can't go but what else can we do? We can only do what we can do. Life if life and sometimes it does not meet our expectations. However, the most important thing in OUR lives is that as of YESTERDAY (10 months ago in China) we saw our beautiful daughter's face for the first time. I remember my heart skipping a more than one beat and the overwhelming feeling that she was REAL! Not every second has been easy but I wouldn't trade it for one second of anything!


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So lovable!






Last night went better than the previous two. Lexi slept better only waking once during the night. I had told Geoff I would get up with her last night since he had done it the past two nights. Our girl sure knows her mommy! LOL!

Anyhow, we hung around this morning for awhile and then got dressed and ready to go waste some time at the mall. We had planned to go to the DC zoo or a petting zoo with Lexi today but the weather had other plans. It's rainy and dreary here. This has not been the visit we had envisioned. We are on day three here and have not spent much time with family at all with the exception of Mike and Kelley. I guess that is just the way it happens. We are heading to Neaners this evening to spend some time with them. It's also Kelley's birthday so it will give them some alone time without us under foot. We did pick up Grandma Diane for a quick lunch and now we are letting Lexi nap. Speaking of naps... I think I'll go take one too. The weather's perfect for it!

Christmas Beauty






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For Aunt Carolyn








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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanxs- VayK-day -part 2

Okay so after the leaves yesterday, we took off to see Nanny and Maggie (Lexi's Great Grandmother and Maggie her long time house mate who is very dear to us all!) Lexi was a bit apprehensive at first but quickly warmed. Nanny reminded me of how my Mom is with her. Before we knew it she had drank 2 half-glasses of lemonade with Nanny in the kitchen. She was moving from Nanny and to Maggie and then back to Nanny over and over giving them kisses. Of course when the camera came out our LJ became shy. It was a sweet meeting!



Lexi and her Great Grandmother Nanny

Lexi and Auntie Maggie.... wearing an outfit they bought her to make sure she stays warm. She look fabulous in lavender.

Now today everyone went to work and we were left alone. We decided to head to a mall here in VA to take Lexi to see Santa. On the way in we walked through a Macy's and couldn't resist buying a few new outfits for her. Of course the sales lady told me that she knew right away that I didn't need fleece pj's for Lexi because I was obviously from the south. (whatever!... maybe it was the flip flops too! ) But we found this adorable outfit of Lj for Christmas (nevermind that we have 2 "Christmas" dresses already!) When we got to Santa, we changed her (no matching shoes or socks mind you! much less a BOW!) and off to Santa we went!

They called us and thus begun a new adventure. Had Santa let us in on HIS plans and HIS understanding of TODDLERS things may have gone more smoothly. But alas, I learn as I go. Lexi HATED Santa! But he pulled out his Polar Express book and began to read it to ME as we ignored her. Then when she settled down, they called her name, she looked up and "CLICK!" picture taken! Who knew they would cut me out as I slipped out of the picture and walked off... leaving her to FREAK OUT!!! Ahhh... but the magic of the professionals... we got a pretty good picture of a barefooted GA China-Peach with Santa!

So the package came with 25 Christmas cards so guess what??? I just ruined many people's Christmas card surprise from us! LOL! No worries though because those who know me KNOW that this is not the end.




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Trip Update

It's been hard to post. I thought I would be posting pictures daily but we are staying busy with family and Lexi so when I do get down time, I really just want to chill-out!

The airplane trip was "fun". We flew on a a small United Express plane. It was booked solid and we began the trip in separate rows but a nice gentlemen from the Georgetown Basketball team moved. The whole team was flying back after a game in Savannah. Just let me say I've never seen so many tall men in one place! The poor players had to practically bend to their waists to walk to their seats! Lexi was a bit hyper on the way up and flipped and flopped until the plane began to move and then she started to settle down. Once in the air Geoff gave her a itouch iPod and a head set and she started to watch "Elmo in Grouchland". It was so cute watching this little baby with all that technology. Often she would touch a button and loose the movie and then she was yell "Ut-oh!" really loud not realizing that the headphones muffled her hearing. Once we landed she was ready to move on!

We went to the restroom for a diaper change. As I was washing Lexi's hands, her Grandma snuck in and surprised us! Lexi was a bit leary at first of Grandma and Grandpa but it wasn't long before she started warming up. She hasn't seen them since August so it took a few minutes but Grandpa Jake is great at making her smile!

We arrived at Mike and Kelley's and started to settle in for the night. It was about 9:30 before we got here. They have a very nice 3 story home so Lexi is very curious about the stairs and she is making great friends with ANYONE who will indulge letting her climb them.
Getting Lexi to sleep wasn't too bad. Kelley borrowed a pack and play and high chair from friends so we were ready. The problem was keeping her asleep. It seemed that every time Lexi moved she realized she was not in her bed and woke up crying. We tried putting her in our bed. No such luck! Our girl is like the Tazmanian Devil flip flopping every which way. We have not had such a hard time with sleep with our girl but once since coming home from China so this was a surprise.

Last night was just a bit better but not much. I sure hope tonight will be better. We are not used to being woken up with her crying like this so much. Geoff has walked the floors with her both nights. I guess tonight is my turn.

Yesterday Geoff's Aunt Diane (Neaners) came over early to meet Lexi. She stayed several hours and Lexi took to her right away. Of course, Neaners taught her how to slide down the stairs on her bottom so now everyone is supposed to do this with her. Lexi read her Eric Carle "From Head to Toe" book to her complete with the motions. It was too cute. I've got to get this on video. Later, Grandma Diane and Grandpa Jake came over with toys! Of course Lexi loved that!

To get her down for a nap I took her for a walk in the stroller. It didn't take long so I brought her upstairs and napped with the Tazmanian Devil. She flipped and flopped from corner to corner of the bed for over two hours!

After Lexi's nap I took her outside and tried to get some leaf pictures of Lexi. Since we don't have 4 distinct seasons where we live in GA I have not found any places near us for leaf pictures. There are tons here. Of course getting a 22 month old to cooperate is a different story. I did get a few that I will scrapbook but for now here are some teasers as well as some others from our trip. I'll be redoing all of them in scrapbook form.

I'll continue our trip details later. I want to keep the blog up to date so Lexi can one day read about her first trip to VA.

Lexi and the leaves!

Lexi and Grandma Diane!

Lexi and Aunt Diane.


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane!


We started packing this morning for our trip to Virginia. Got to make sure we get the girl in there!



Dressed and ready to go!

We are finally making our way to Virginia with some Lj sweetness. She has not met her great grandparents so we are very excited for her! We are able to fly up rather than the 10 hour drive thanks to Grandma Diane and her frequent flyer miles! We will be staying with Geoff's sister and brother in law. We are doing our best to pack light and just take one suitcase. Packing has been reminiscent of packing for China. It's hard to believe that we have almost been home with Lexi 10 months! It's as if she has always been a part of us. We can't wait for her to meet the rest of the family. I'm sure my Mom will be in Lexi-withdrawal by this evening. We'll have to make many phone calls!





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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Had to Post These



I got an email from Kellie today and couldn't resist posting these pictures... They are too true!



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Monday, November 16, 2009

Bestfriends

 



Sara took this picture in the Spring I think and sent it to me to make into black and white. I finally did it this afternoon. About time huh, Sara??



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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Busy Saturday

This morning I had to get up and get a move on as opposed to our usual slow start Saturday. Carolyn and I went to Christmas Made in the South in Savannah today and then Geoff and Lexi came and got me in the afternoon so that we could take Lexi to the Savannah Children's Book Festival.

Christmas Made in the South was really fun! Carolyn and I had fun looking at all the treasures. We found one really great bow booth and I picked up some new bows for Lexi.

And this really cute wall hanging that I can put Lexi's picture in. I loved this booth!

Once we got to the Book Festival, we wandered around and found the Autograph Tent. Gracious! We went especially to get Lexi's copy of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" signed. The line was long! We waited FOREVER!!! No kidding we waited a little over an hour and a half! We finally met Laura Numeroff and got the book signed and then by then it was over! So on the way back to the car we came across a woman who told us that she had just unlocked the Fragrant Garden for the Blind. I've never heard of this part of Forsythe Park. It was nice and the roses were the most fragrant I have ever smelled. Lexi liked them too.




It's amazing how a drink with a straw can do to ease an impatient child!

We certainly enjoyed our afternoon with our precious little girl!



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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glance Back In Time...

This morning I was looking in files on my computer to use to help me learn a new application that I want to use with my students. I needed video, pictures and text. Well, imagine my surprise when I found this video of Lexi just a few weeks after we came home! Carolyn took it with her cell phone. I look at it and just am totally amazed! Look how tiny she was! This was a 3 months Carter's dress and she did not fill it out!

Looking at this video just makes me pause and cherish, really cherish every second with Lexi. She is growing up so fast! She is just changing before our eyes and we don't notice because we see her every day! I remember after getting our referral telling Geoff that we needed to make sure we cherished every day with her because kids grow up so fast. I feel guilty of not following my own advice.

Tonight as I talked with my mom, she remarked about how much you can love a child that is not even of your blood. It is amazing! Adoption is a beautiful, wonderful thing! I sit here tonight just cherishing our Lexi and thanking God for bringing us to her. Many people tell us that she is so lucky to have us but we feel differently... we are the lucky (BLESSED) ones.



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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanks for the bows Aunt Carolyn!

Lexi stayed with Aunt Carolyn today while I went for a new hair-do. Carolyn had a new hat for Lexi and some new bows! This one matched her outfit perfectly and of course Aunt Carolyn had some picture taking fun. I'll tell you this little sweetie is a thief of hearts!









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Trying to Get a Picture...

of the cutest Turkey Bow that my sister made for Lexi. Let's just say it was not an easy task even though Lexi did enjoy running from me the whole time.




So finally I gave up and just took a picture of the bow minus Lexi! Isn't it adorable? I'm taking 4 of them to work tomorrow to see if anyone wants to buy them. She certainly is keeping Lexi in bows these days! (I have no idea why blogger is posting this picture sideways! It's annoyed the stew out of me but I give up! I guess you have to look at it sideways!)






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